The Duke Spirit (4 stars)

The Duke Spirit

King Tut’s, Glasgow, Wed 2 Apr


They should be well practiced at this. Following their well-received 2005 debut Cuts Across the Land, London’s Duke Spirit flew across the pond to play the odd gig or 285. Their follow-up, Neptune, is consequently a collection of propulsive road rock, shot through with singer Liela Moss’ restless wails and reflections, both wry and wistful. Fittingly, the two openers tonight – ‘Send a Little Love Token’ and the layered guitars and ascending chorus of ‘Lasso’ – tear off the grid.

There’s a visual as well as aural link to the Mary Chain in the male back line, with a definite penchant for voluminous hair and guitar. But Moss – she of the perfectly fringed sandy hair – is the focus, throwing her body into shapes and pulling hand actions out of her pockets, and with a bewitching, throaty yet lilting, glottal-stopped voice that echoes Grace Slick. A rousing set peaks with ‘This Ship Was Built to Last’, its rhythmic riff warped by distorted slide guitar and rising to a glorious crescendo, and ‘Step of the Walk’, which channels Sons and Daughters’ vampish 60s girl pop through 70s heavy blues and is delivered with justifiable swagger. Very well practiced indeed.

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